What You Need for a Compelling Headshot
It's not often that you get the chance or motivation to update your headshot, but when you do, it's important to make sure that it is updated with the right look and style for your brand and what platform it will be displayed on. A LinkedIn profile photo has a different intention than an Instagram Story.
In this blog post, I'll walk you through some tips on what to look for in a headshot, and how to choose the right photographer to capture your perfect shot. Keep reading to learn more!
Whether you smile, smirk, or stay serious in your professional profile photo will depend on your brand and the type of business you're in. A good headshot photographer will be able to make suggestions or assist with researching what your brand needs.
- Always make eye contact with the camera. In a professional headshot, your eyes and what you are communicating with them, are the most effective tool you have. When you select your favourite business photos from your photo session, make sure your eyes are not in shadow and have an actual sparkle in them. It adds life and shaves off years from your eyes.
- The second most effective tool you can use for your business photos is to wear something that matches your brand. Definitely have a chat with your headshot photographer so you can coordinate wardrobe with backdrops, moods, and all those things that will make your headshot reflect your brand.
- Here some guidelines but to stand out, it's good to sometimes break the rules:
- - Solid colours are recommended but I like to throw in a well planned pattern to tell your business’ story even better in your portraits.
- - Very limited use of white since it will wash out your skin tone. In your portrait, white will be brighter than your face and draw attention away from it. A good way to photograph you in your favourite white shirt is to layer it under a jacket, scarf, etc.
- - Iron or steam your cloths for the photoshoot and bring them on a hanger. Just like iron itself, this is one of those unbreakable rules ;-). So far I have not seen one good use of wrinkled cloths in professional headshots.
- Make sure your hair looks the way you want it to. Styled or natural, all is acceptable as long as it is intentional. Do bring a brush and hairspray to your headshot session so you are always in control. If you choose to shoot with me, your stylist will everything on hand for touch ups.
- Select a location that tells your brand's story best. Clean, all-white backgrounds are great options because they don't add any distractions. However, sometimes you want to show how eco-friendly you are or how gritty your brand is. Fun-coloured backdrops or outdoor headshot sessions are perfect for that. Talk to your headshot/personal branding photographer as she is trained in visual storytelling and brainstorm what works best for you and your business. A mood board is a great way to communicate visually with each other. I like using Pinterest. You can check out some past Pinterest mood boards here.
So, what do you think? Are you convinced that you need a brand-aware expert for your professional LinkedIn profile photo or other social media photos? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be more than happy to help you look your best in front of your clients. And if you have any comments or additional tips about headshots or anything else related to visual storytelling and branding, feel free to send a note using the button below and I'll share them on the blog.